In A Pickle

Photo by Vera Arsic / Pexels

Dear Talula

I have the worst time making firm decisions, and now I’m in a pickle! I became close friends with a generous man at my gym, and we talk every day about our lives and challenges. He’s looking for a roommate to share the rent with him, and after months of waffling, I’m ready to take the plunge and leave my parents house. Except now, my boyfriend is upset because he doesn’t think a man and a woman can roommate together without having a relationship, and if I move out with Gym Man, I have to break-up with him. My boyfriend still lives with his parents and won’t move out with me. Gym Man says that my boyfriend has no plan for the future and no motivation to be independent, but if my boyfriend isn’t okay with the situation, Gym Man won’t move out with me either. I love my boyfriend, and cherish my new friend, but don’t know how I can do better in life without upsetting my relationships. I feel hurt and angry by their reactions.

Pickle

Dear Pickle,

Both these men are failing you — but they’re treating you like property. It’s 2019. You’re an independent woman. You need to reframe this situation by realizing that you shouldn’t be afraid of losing a relationship with them — they should be afraid of losing a relationship with you. How dare they overstep their bounds and decide for you what your future should be, as though you were cattle and they’re decided whose farm you should be at!? Leave it up to your boyfriend and Gym Man if they want to continue to interact with you, and move out by finding a different roommate. Prove to them that they have to treat you with respect and if they want a say in your decision making, then they have to prove to you they are valuable. If your boyfriend wants a place beside you, he has to cut the cord with his family and choose independence, or accepting that he can’t measure up to the standard you set – and do you really want to be with someone who can’t accomplish the level of responsibility that you have succeeded at?

If Gym Man wants to be your friend and have a say in your life and wants you as a roommate, he’s going to have to step back and realize your relationship with your boyfriend is none of his business. And do you really want to be roommates with someone who is over concerned with your private business? Treating yourself with respect begins with you, and setting the standard for what you won’t tolerate in others. Make it clear their behavior toward you is unacceptable. You can do this by proving you don’t need their say so to exert your independence. 

Xoxo

Talula

Feeling Abandoned at 40

Photo by Kat Jayne / Pexels

Dear Talula,

I’m a 40 year old mother of 2 young boys and I just broke up with the man of my dreams after 2 years of living together. He left me to be on his own and I still don’t understand why. All his reasons for leaving – that he wants to sow his wild oats and that he wants to start a family with someone else who doesn’t already have kids – just sound like empty excuses. He refuses to seek therapy and I believe he’s really running away from our relationship because of unresolved childhood issues. How can I make him see he’s making the biggest mistake of his life?

Feeling Abandoned

Dear Feeling Abandoned,

Whether it’s 2 years or ten years, whenever we invest time and energy into another person just to have them leave, it can be heart rending. We think of all that we put in, and it went to nothing. The process of a break up is a lot like the stages of grieving. We go through denial, bargaining, acceptance, etc. Right now, it sounds like you’re still in shock and looking for answers that will ease the pain, or make it feel that your investment in this other person wasn’t for nothing. The reality is, regardless of the reasons he chose to leave, we have to respect the choice of the other person. This is what makes love so dangerous and precarious to our hearts – we have no guarantee that it will last, or won’t be taken from us. He may be running from childhood issues, but that’s his choice to make. From your point of view, it looks like he’s making the biggest mistake of his life – but maybe he’s saving you from the biggest mistake of your life. Your needs are important, and by focusing only on his “issues”, you’re sabotaging yourself of the relationship you deserve. If he chose to stay and his heart wasn’t in it, he’d only waste your time and energy. Instead, he’s setting you free to find the person who can love you more fully, and will embrace your family as his own. Look forward to your new beginning with someone who will make you the biggest success of your life.

xoxo

Talula